10th Parliament officially bows out

By Alice Lubwama

As the country prepares for the swearing in of President Elect Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhabura Museveni on Wednesday, the 10th Parliament will also tonight officially be closed.

The dissolution of the legislative arm of government comes just a week after the President officially wound up cabinet sittings to prepare for the new term of government.

The dissolution of the five year term of legislators of the 10th parliament will be followed by the swearing in of the new office bearers of the 11th parliament who are expected to take oath beginning the 17th -20th may 2021.

Although the speaker Rebecca kadaga had earlier indicated that the legislative arm would close business on Friday this week the speaker realized that there will be no minister to attend to the demanding business of the house.

Kadaga used the same opportunity to remind the new legislators to follow the swearing in programme earlier issued in which on three people are expected to accompany each legislators as the parliament moves to observe Standard Operating Procedures.

She has also warned the new members of parliament coming for swearing in not to carry the whole village from the constituencies to parliament .

The 11th parliament will have 529 members of parliament.

IGG vows not to extend wealth declaration period

By Alice Lubwama

The Inspectorate of Government will not extend the time within which public officers are supposed to declare their assets and liabilities.

The spokesperson of the inspectorate, Ali Munira says that by law the deadline for declaration is 31st of March but it was extended to 23rd of this month and anyone who would not have made their declaration by this day midnight their names will be forwarded to the leadership code tribunal for further action.

This year 2021 being a Declaration Year, 30,000 Leaders are expected to declare their Incomes, Assets and Liabilities to the Inspectorate of Government but according to Munira although the deadline was extended some haven’t made their declaration.

Munira now encourages those who have not declared their wealth to do it via the Inspectorate of Government online declaration system.

According to the Leadership Code Act, 2002 elected and appointed leaders include the President, Ministers, Members of parliament, judges, the Inspector General of Government–IGG, National and district leaders among others are required to declare their wealth to the office of the inspectorate of Government.

Based on the leadership code act, the tribunal will handle matters of breach of the code that are referred to it by the inspectorate of Government and recommend appropriate action.

Political ananlyst urges political parties to train new Parliamentary entrants

By Phiona Namutebi

Political analyst Henry Kasacca has pointed out that lack of ideological focus remains a threat to the growth and existence of opposition political parties in Uganda.

While speaking to the press, Kasacca said that many times when members are voted into power, they forget the ideological concepts of the parties they come from making the parties dull since their ideas are not considered.

He adds, this in turn becomes challenging because it causes divisions among party members as everyone serves their personal interests as apposed to collective party interests.

Kasacca has also blamed political parties for failure to train their newly elected members of parliament that has limited their effectiveness in parliamentary operations.

Kasacca notes that political parties should not assume that new legislators know what to do and even if they know, they always need to be guided so that they don’t get off-track and fail to effectively serve their societies.

He has advised opposition political parties to unite if they are to transform the country because the divisions amongst them don’t add anything on their goal but they instead weaken them.

Odonga Otto remanded

By Sania Babirye

The Aruu Member of Parliament Odonga Otto has been remanded to Gulu Government prison until 6th April after pleading not guilty to two offences of Assault, Malicious damage to property and occasioning bodily harm. He has appeared before Edward Akankwasa who charged him with the said offences.

Otto’s wife Juliet Otto applied for bail, but the magistrate declined to grant it and advised her to seek for bail on the 6th of April.

Prosecution’s Thomas Epiya has informed court that they are ready to commence trial since police investigations into the said case are complete

Prosecution states that on the 6th of May 2018 while Amin Padure sub county, otto willfully and unlawfully damaged the window screen of Fuse track of Henry Mugisha before assaulting and causing bodily harm to the victim.

On Tuesday last week, Otto was arrested by security operatives in Gulu district at Boma Hotel before he was driven bank to Kampala on Wednesday for a mental medical examination as mandated to see if he is mentally fit to stand trial.

He was then driven back to Gulu for trial.

His wife now accuses the magistrate of being used by what she has termed as external force to deny bail and remand her client and also husband.

She adds that it was absurd that despite being ready to secure bail for her client with all the necessary documents required, the magistrate instead chose to remand her husband.

Otto was defeated in the concluded 14th January General elections and also accuses police of poisoning him.

Kindandala seeks to serve his petition to Segirinya even in Prison

By Sania Babirye

Sulaiman Kidandala who dragged National unity platform party member and Kawempe North MP elect Muhammad Ssegirinya to court challenging his victory has asked court to grant him permission to serve Segirinya documents of his election petition in Prison.

Segirinya is currently at Kitalya government prison on charges of inciting violence after being remanded by Buganda road court on Tuesday this week.

Kidandala is challenging Ssegirinya’s victory accusing him of forging both O and A level certificates to facilitate his nomination.

He informed court that he has been unable to serve Segirinya because he cannot access him to have him receive his copy as the law requires.

Kidandala also a National Unity Platform Party member who came second petitioned the Uganda National Examination Board requesting for Segirinya’s academic papers.

However, in a reply by UNEB to Kidandala dated 15th March 2021,it shows that the results Segirinya submitted to the Electoral commission were of two female candidates including people reg.no. U0053/054 (2007) that belongs to Nampiima Sarah who sat Mengo Scondary School and not Segirinya Richard who claimed to have sat from Pimba Secondary School as he alleged.

UNEB also stated that U0053/754(2009) was candidate Nabadda Maureen from Mengo Senior Secondary School and not Segirinya Richard from Pimba Secondary school.

UNEB further states that certificate serial number U1884798 and A0964827 respectively, the copies that Kidandala submitted for verification are not authentic issued by the Board.

Kidandala asked the high court to nullify Segirinya’s victory and orders fresh elections because Segirinya on grounds that Segirinya did not seat both O and A levels.

The law requires that a respondent must file his defense with in 10 days and its less than four days to the deadline.

Nyanzi intends to serve Nsereko through News papers

By Sania Babirye

The loser in the Kampala central MP seat Nyanzi Fred Ssentamu of the National unity platform party has applied for a substituted legal order to allow him serve Kampala Central MP Muhammad Nsereko a copy of his Election petition challenging his victory through a news paper.

This is after Nyanzi claims that he has failed to get access to Nsereko or locate his whereabouts yet, by law, he must serve the respondent with a copy so that the respondent can respond to his allegations.

Nyanzi now wants Court to allow him to serve Nyanzi through newspapers.
A substituted legal order allows to serve a defendant through other means other than serving him personally.
On the 10th of this month, Nyanzi petitioned the high Court in Kampala challenging the victory of the incumbent Independent Muhammad Nsereko after Mengo magistrate court dismissed his application for a vote recount.

Nyanzi wants the high court to declare him as the validly elected MP for Kampala Central division or orders a recount or sets aside Nsereko’s victory and orders for a by election.

In his main petition filed today at the civil division of the high court, Nyanzi claims that the said election was not conducted in accordance with the electoral laws and that there was non compliance .

He further claims that failure by EC to conduct a free and fair elections affected the results in a substantial manner.

Nyanzi claims that seven presiding officers committed electoral offences by failing without lawful excuse to furnish true returns of the election results to the returning officer within the time in which they were required to furnish those returns.

He further accuses both the returning officer and the presiding officers of deliberately making wrong entries on the final tally sheets by posting wrong votes at ten respective polling stations and that there are several votes at various polling stations that were not included in the final tally sheet on top of defranchising many of his voters from casting their votes on the polling day.

Incumbent Muhammad Nsereko defeated five other candidates including Nyanzi with 16,998 while Nyanzi who came second scored 15,975 votes with a vote difference of 1021 votes.

On the 28th of January this year, the Mengo Chief magistrate court dismissed his application on ground that Nyanzi failed to adduce factual evidence to prove the alleged mal practices but only based his evidence on hear say.

The magistrate also faulted Nyanzi of failing to bring any of his alleged agent who were chased away and those who who were refused to sign on any of the declaration forms as alleged from the said polling stations and yet some of the agents he quotes in his affidavit signed on the declaration forms showing that they accepted the results as announced.

The Magistrate said that Nyanzi was just on a fishing expedition with no factual evidence but only hear say which court can not entertain and orders him to pay Nsereko all the money he has used in the said case.

Nyanzi had petitioned the magistrate court seeking a recount on grounds that the voting process and vote counting was marred with a lot of malpractices by both the electoral commission and Nsereko’s agents.

Nyanzi also claimed that some of his agents were denied access to polling stations like summit view, Nakasero 1 and 2 and Hoima flats among other polling stations on top of some declaration forms not have been signed on by his agents.

His lawyer Anthony Wameeli told court that they are seeking a recount in 58 polling stations because a total of 2577 ballots could not be accounted for and that the difference in figures can not be explained by EC.

He also stated that the electoral commission connived with Nsereko’s agents to chase away his agents from polling stations and as a result and this helped them to alter the results.

However, Nsereko’s defense team led by Bernard Mutyaba asked court to dismiss the said application saying the applicant failed to adduce physical evidence to prove the alleged malpractices but instead is just basing his evidence on hear say.

He submitted that the application is defective and lacks merit since it does not have sufficient documents to support their allegations.

Electoral Commission’s lawyer Hamid Lugoolobi also asked for dismissal since the court had no jurisdiction to hear the said application after the returning officer declared the winner and results transmitted to EC.

He added that by the law, Nyanzi should have informed the returning officer of his plans to challenge the election which would have made the returning officer to delay the declaration for seven days to allow a vote recount by the magistrate court.

Mabirizi accuses the Chief Justice of denying him access to Supreme Court premises

By Sania Babirye

City lawyer Hassan Kiwanuka Male Mabirizi is stranded outside the entrance of the supreme Court in Kololo after he was denied access to enter the court premises this morning allegedly on orders of the Chief justice Alifonse Owiny Dollo.

Mabirizi is accusing the Chief Justice Alifonse Owinyi Dollo of giving orders to the security guard to not allow him access the court premises after he was informed by the security at the gate that no one is allowed to enter the supreme Court premises.

Mabirizi says he had gone to witness his ruling due to be delivered by Justice Kisakye who deferred from the majority judgement on why the Chief Justice should recuse himself in the Kyagulanyi presidential Election Petition.

Mabirizi explained that Justice Kisakye told him to return back today at 11:am to have his minority judgement since she was unable to deliver it yesterday due to time constraints but he was surprised to find the Supreme Court gates closed.

He further says that he had also came to file his rejoinder at the East African Court in a case he filed against Justice Dollo for refusing to recuse himself from hearing Kyagulanyi’s petition, that is housed at the Supreme Court premises and also serve the chief justice and his other seven justices with their drafts after he filed a complaint before the Juducial Service Commission this morning about their alleged misconduct in yesterday’s supreme court drama.

He adds that he has personally called the chief justice on his personal number and the Judiciary PRO Solomon Muyita but they have all declined to answer.

He says he will remain camped at the gate until the chief justice answers his call and tell him why some people are allowed to access court while others can’t.

Mabirizi adds that he is a party to a case ,filed all fees, then he should not be bared from accessing court on allegedly the chief justice orders.

He has called upon the chief justice to allegedly stop using the supreme Court as his personal office yet its a public office stating that he had warned the Parliament of Uganda from approving his appointment but no body listened to him.

ANT’s Mwiru challenges NRM’s Nabeta Victory

By Sania Babirye

The out going Jinja East Member of Parliament and Alliance for National Transformation Paul Mwiru has petitioned the high Court challenging the victory of his long contender and NRMs Nathan Igeme Nabeta in the just concluded Parliamentary elections.

According to documents filed before the Jinja High Court, Mwiru, wants the high court to nullify Nabeta’s victory and instead declares him the validly elected Member of Parliament.

Mwiru is jointly suing Nabeta together with the Electoral commission for holding an election that was not free and fair but was marred with massive electoral Mal practices including enfranchising of his voters, vote rigging among other allegations.

According to Mwiru,the said election was not conducted in accordance with the electoral laws and that there was non compliance .

He further claims that failure by EC to conduct a free and fair elections affected the results in a substantial manner.

Nabeta was declared as the validly elected Member of Parliament for Jinja East with 6,621 votes, whilst Mwiru pulled 5,355 votes.

This is the third time that Mwiru has challenged Nabeta’s victory, in which he has won the past two election petitions in which he accused Nabeta of having no academic papers and stealing of votes

Supreme Court allows Mayambala to file application for inheritance

By Sania Babirye

The Supreme Court has given a go ahead to former Presidential candidate Eng.Willy Mayambala to file a formal application seeking to inherit National Unity Platform party president Robert Kyagulanyi’s presidential election petition.

In his reply to Mayambala’s objection letter, dated 25th February 2022 and signed on by the Supreme court registrar Harriet Nakukwago Ssali, Mayambala and copied to the chief justice, Mayambala has been advised to seek the service of a lawyer with a view of filling a formal application seeking for the inheritance of the said petition.

Mayambala Yesterday, petitioned the Supreme court objecting to National Unity party President Robert Kyagulanyi’s withdraw of his election petition and asked the supreme court to allow him to take it over.

In a letter dated 25th February 2021 and addressed to the Chief Justice, Mayambala contends that he is objecting to the said withdraw and has expressed interest in taking over the said petition from Kyagulanyi.

He is now seeking the court guidance on the legal procedure to inherit such a Petition and if the court can allow him to present new evidence in support of the said petition.

This is after Kyagulanyi’s team on Wednesday this week, officially filed their application seeking for leave to withdraw the said petition and is pending hearing and determination.

Female MPs call for more political appointments

By Edwin Muhumuza

Female legislators under their umbrella body, the Uganda Women Parliamentarians Association (UWOPA) have urged president Museveni to appoint more Women in leadership positions in his sixth term of office.

Chairperson UWOPA and MP Budaka district, Kamugo Nassiyo says the president should first of all maintain women leaders in heading ministries such as lands, environment, energy, and health, Education, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), the Presidency and Trade.

Their remarks come ahead of commemorations to mark the international women’s day under the theme ‘women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.

‘We request him to retain such big positions to be specifically for women and also ask him to consider appointing more women in Key decision making positions as we continue to advance gender parity in policies and development’, Nassiyo remarked.

The Population of Uganda as at 31st December 2020 was estimated at 45.7 million with 23.3 million females and 22.4 million male and there has increasingly been an increasing trend in women participating in politics, leadership and governance and in the just concluded election, Nancy Kalembe came 8th out of 11 presidential aspirants while Nabillah Nagayi Ssempala came second in the Mayoral polls, breaking the glass ceiling in a male dominated position.

According to data from the electoral commission, a total of 173 women representing 32.8% were elected and out of the 529 Members of Parliament.

This milestone, however, was attained during the COVID-19 lock down, as many women and girls’ rights were violated, rate of teenage pregnancies and early marriages soared and in Acholi sub region alone a total of 4062 cases of teenage pregnancies have been recorded in six out of eight districts within the first five months of the pandemic

Having women in leadership positions is empowerment for the girl child ,but Kamwenge Woman MP, Azirwe Dorothy Nshaija attributed family responsibilities and lack of funds to why less women were able to be elected in the just concluded elections. This amid calls to have a female speaker in the August House again.

‘In the previous parliaments we have seen the speaker being female and she has articulated her role therefore we advocate for the reappointment of a female speaker in the 11th parliament.’Nshaija said, adding that want president Museveni to appoint women in the position of vice president and Prime minister on grounds that there is an imbalance in how the three arms of government are run, with only males at the helm.

Woman MP for Koboko District, Baba Diri Margaret, representing persons with disabilities(PWDs) noted that there is need for civic education and facilities for interpreters for PWDs in the future elections because they were left out and just went to vote anyhow.

The parliamentarians have also appealed to government to implement laws regarding elimination of violence against women including, the prevention of trafficking in persons Act 2009,the Domestic Violence Act 2010,the prevention of Female Genital Mutilation Act 2009,Sexual Offences Bill 2019, Succession Amendment Bill 2018 and the Marriage and Divorce Bill 2009.